Baseball for the Thinking Fan

Login | Register | Feedback

You are here > Home > Baseball Newsstand > Baseball Primer Newsblog > Discussion
Baseball Primer Newsblog
— The Best News Links from the Baseball Newsstand

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

HHS: O’Connor: What Nerds Can Learn From Wedgies?

Uhh…avoid The (Bob) Melvin at all cost?

Could Dustin Ackley actually have performed worse because of advanced baseball metrics?  Was he on fangraphs late at night looking at his ground ball percentage and his BABIP and wondering if his successes were flukes or his shortcomings were surmountable?  It’s possible, as Ackley is young and plays in a progressive city and just might hear terms like WAR and wOBA tossed around at home and around the batting cage.

More likely, though, Ackley goes about his job largely ignorant of the numbers that claimed he was worthless (though baseball-reference and fangraphs sure liked his defense and baserunning).  Like other non-pitchers, he spends time on the field working on turning ground balls into outs and getting himself on base.

And that’s just it.  It appears that Wedge’s reference to sabermetrics really runs no deeper than on-base percentage.

...We all know Wedge is not alone as a baseball insider questioning the validity of more advanced research and its encroachment on the game, particularly in the front offices from which he receives his marching orders.  When outsiders suggest that a team could be better managed by restructuring lineups, platooning more, or using relief pitchers differently, we’re certainly prone to overlooking the impact of these changes on the actual human beings playing the game.  I’m sure the Reds would win more games if Joey Votto hit second and Zack Cozart hit… I don’t know… 84th, but how would Votto react to being told he needs to leave what he’s always been told is the “heart of the order”?

But does this insider/outsider dichotomy really apply to Ackley’s situation?

I suppose it’s possible that Dustin Ackley knew he was worth close to 3 WAR in his rookie year (3.7 per b-r and 2.9 per fangraphs), then less valuable in 2012 (2.8 and 1.1, respectively) and basically worthless in 2013, and that knowledge crawled under his skin and robbed him of whatever focus and drive made him a valuable player in 2011.  It’s more possible that Ackley was a bit of a mirage in 2011 and when his bat regressed the following season, his career took the same route as so many careers before his, including his manager’s.  This outsider thinks sabermetrics played more of a role in Wedge’s bosses’ decision to demote Ackley than in Ackley’s failures.

Repoz Posted: May 29, 2013 at 01:02 PM | 1 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: sabermetrics

Reader Comments and Retorts

Go to end of page

Statements posted here are those of our readers and do not represent the BaseballThinkFactory. Names are provided by the poster and are not verified. We ask that posters follow our submission policy. Please report any inappropriate comments.

   1. bookbook Posted: May 30, 2013 at 12:21 AM (#4455384)
The sabremetrics of noting that hitting .207 with no power or walks is a problem? Wedge's bosses are numerical geniuses.

You must be Registered and Logged In to post comments.



<< Back to main

BBTF Partner

Support BBTF


Thanks to
for his generous support.


You must be logged in to view your Bookmarks.

Hot Topics

NewsblogOTP 2016 Oct 17: Politics, Sports, and the 'League of Legends' World Championship
(1558 - 9:06am, Oct 21)
Last: zonk

NewsblogThe Oral History of Baseball on 'Seinfeld' | Complex
(40 - 9:05am, Oct 21)
Last: Never Give an Inge (Dave)

NewsblogBlue Jays face uncertain future after falling short again
(6 - 8:52am, Oct 21)
Last: The Pequod

NewsblogOT - October 2016 College Football thread
(137 - 8:46am, Oct 21)
Last: stanmvp48

NewsblogPutting value of Los Angeles Dodgers catcher Yasmani Grandal in the proper frame
(9 - 8:43am, Oct 21)
Last: PreservedFish

NewsblogCitgo sign could be landmark on the move | Boston Herald
(25 - 8:19am, Oct 21)
Last: The Anthony Kennedy of BBTF (Scott)

NewsblogNo Strike Or Lockout For MLB, Challenges With International Draft
(4 - 8:14am, Oct 21)
Last: RMc is Fairly Irrefutable

NewsblogWhat we learned: The Dodgers can't hit Jon Lester
(1 - 8:10am, Oct 21)
Last: RMc is Fairly Irrefutable

NewsblogThe unique role Hazleton, Pa., plays in the Chicago Cubs’ World Series push
(2 - 8:09am, Oct 21)
Last: Tom T

NewsblogTexas Rangers: Offseason issues: Why Rangers face tough decision in what to do with Joey Gallo | SportsDay
(25 - 8:05am, Oct 21)
Last: Tippecanoe

NewsblogOT: NBA 2016-17 Preseason Thread
(211 - 2:17am, Oct 21)
Last: Norcan

(875 - 2:04am, Oct 21)
Last: Jay Z

NewsblogTrevor Bauer reveals questionable taste in Star Wars movies
(155 - 1:30am, Oct 21)
Last: Zach

NewsblogUpon further review, Adrian Gonzalez remains unhappy | FOX Sports
(51 - 11:09pm, Oct 20)
Last: Howie Menckel

NewsblogCleveland Indians team name, Chief Wahoo logo targeted in Canadian lawsuit |
(65 - 7:14pm, Oct 20)
Last: You Know Nothing JT Snow (YR)

Page rendered in 0.2736 seconds
47 querie(s) executed